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Virus Res. 2005 Nov;113(2):143-52.

DNA vaccine for rabies: relevance of the trans-membrane domain of the glycoprotein in generating an antibody response.

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  • 1Gamete Antigen Laboratory, National Institute of Immunology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067, India.


Various studies have demonstrated the potential of immunization with DNA vaccines encoding the rabies virus glycoprotein (RV-G) to elicit humoral responses. In the present study, we have designed four constructs using a VR1020 vector, wherein the RV-G ectodomain has been cloned without the signal sequence (SS) and the trans-membrane domain (TD) (rGVR), without the SS but with the TD (rGVRt), with the SS but without the TD (rGVRs) and with the SS and the TD (rGVRst), under the control of a cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter, and downstream of the tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) signal sequence. In addition, RV-G has been expressed as a His6 tag fusion protein, both in Escherichia coli as well as in baculovirus expression systems. Using a prime-boost strategy, BALB/cJ mice administered with the rGVRt construct either in saline (intramuscularly) or adsorbed onto gold microcarriers (delivered intradermally by gene gun) generated the highest rabies virus neutralizing antibody (RVNA) titers. Inclusion of the SS, in addition to the TD (rGVRst), led to a significant decrease in RVNA titers, compared to the rGVRt construct. The DNA vaccine construct lacking both the SS and the TD domain and the vaccine having only the SS generated lower antibody responses, compared to the rGVRt construct. After priming with DNA vaccine, boosting with both E. coli- as well as baculovirus-expressed rRV-G led to an increase in the RVNA titers. The present results demonstrate that a DNA vaccine encoding the full-length sequence of the ectodomain plus TD of the mature native RV-G is capable of expressing an 'ideal' immunogen to produce RVNA titers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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